Allow myself to introduce my... box.What is it?
A wireless mobile access point for the sharing of digital awesomeness. An anonymous and very geeky way to find or share files in a publicly private way.How do i join in?:
on twitter for updates on where and when it will be running through out PAX.
Once you're in the area simply use your WiFi enabled device to find an open WiFi network called GutterBox and connect. Once connected , open a browser and no matter what address you enter you will automatically be redirected to the GutterBox landing page. Browse the list of files to download, or upload your own files for sharing (Some restrictions apply).
Scheduled up times:
Friday @ 3pm
Saturday @ 3pm
Sunday @ 12pm
All in Handheld lounge.
Remember, it's a wifi hotspot. These wont be organized meet ups so just head to the area, plop on a sumo, and connect.What are the rules?
Only legal files are allowed on the share. If you see something illegal listed just click the "Delete" button right next to the file name and it will be banished to the nether.
If you have something nifty to share, please name the file something sane and do use the description field on the upload form. While not required it will be much easier for others to find the goods if they know what they're downloading.Is it safe?
Yes! and no.
Connecting to the share alone will not harm your device. The GutterBox has no access to the wild wild internet. No need to worry about it logging your logins since no matter what website you try to visit while connected, you will be redirected to the landing page.
There are a few things to be aware of to keep you clean though.
You will be on a closed network with strangers. If you have any network services or Windows file shares set to run publicly on your home network, you may want to shut them off before connecting.
You should consider the GutterBox an untrusted source for anything you download. Use normal precautions, and don't go blindly running any executable.I bet there's a disclaimer!
While I will be running the device with the best of intent, I can not guarantee the same of others who use it. All users are free to delete any problem file they see listed and I will do the same. This is not in any way endorsed by Penny Arcade or the BCEC. You and you alone are responsible for what you do while connected.
*EDIT: I had to drop the file size restriction due to hardware limits. It was a choice of no restriction or a max of 12mb so I'm going with the former.
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Best assurance I could give is connecting alone is as safe as any other hotspot since that can't itself lead to any compromise. By nature it can't pass through to the internet so no worries about logging other traffic. Any webpage you try to load just redirects to the devices main page. Other than that, as long as users use caution with any executables obtained just like any other untrusted source there should be nothing to worry about.
Yes. As soon as you connect to the access point and open a web browser it automatically goes to the box's home page which says what it is, has a chat box, and the buttons to up and download. In fact any web page you try to go to will bring you to that.
It's just like the hotspots cable providers have where you can only see the landing page until you log in with your customer account. Only difference is there's no log in and no access to the outside web.
For everyone else it's for more than just photos. The idea behind these set ups is the random factor of just stumbling on new things. Sure i can search flickr if I specifically want PAX pics. Connecting to an open file share that has been running all day on the other hand may be full of pics, a d&d campaign someone came up with, some chiptune tracks someone just made while sitting in hh lounge, all those random type of things you may not specifically be looking for but would enjoy if you just happen to come across it.
The only real concern I have is the point made by Schmulki. There are ways to curb that though. Limiting to small files sizes keeps the most common things off, and also everyone has the ability to delete as well as upload and download. See something naughty and just get rid of it.
If it's a matter of no one would use it, I don't really care and would bring it anyway. If it's something that wouldn't be allowed that's another story. Legally there should be no issue. PA and the BCEC aren't endorsing anything, and as long as it's all set up with good intent and willingness to remove any offending material it would fall under safe harbor provisions. Basically as long as I say do NOT share things illegally and take action to remove things that are illegal, my behind is covered.
It may help to be a little more clear on what it is, how it works, and why to use it so here's some similar projects
i have pleanty of interesting enclosers and a spare portable hard drive or two and some extra usb sticks (can't remeber if you can only use a usb stick or you can use a hard drive)
Just thought I'd add a little opinion from my side of things.
Probably not a good idea to drop of electrical devices in the middle of Boston and then walk away.
If you're going to do something similar to this, I would just advise maybe getting the department managers approval prior to dropping anything off. For Handheld that would be Scoots.
I planned on stashing it in hh lounge. I'll check with Scoots if I can leave it up by their table and maybe plug it in. Honestly who wouldn't want to have wall-e hanging out next to them.
What's the best way to contact him?
pretty sure her handle here is just @scoots
Clearly politicians don't watch Adult Swim.
I've messages Scoots but it looks like she's only really active right before PAX. I'll try through twitter unless anyone here has an alternate means of contact and can ask her to take a look at this thread.
"Deez iz not a bom"
Should clear it up for everyone.
I'm sure a good chunk of attendees aren't on the forum or checking twitter which is the main reason I had wanted a stationary drop, to help with random discovery of the share. That's also the reason I picked handheld and not byoc.
On the plus side now I wont have the disembodied voice oh Johny 5 yelling "No Disassemble" while I gut my Wall-e... I fear I may be too attached to my robots.
Anyway, core hardware is set up and has been tested. I'm in the processes of writing a message board/file share script to live on the server and want some feedback. What is a good size limit to cap uploads at? I want small enough that it wont invite full iso rips, but not too small to discourage legit video clips, hi res pictures, or uncompressed audio. Any suggestions?
There will be a filter for file types too, just working out what i want to blacklist.
1) Neat idea! I wish I had any idea how to set up a cool little traveling hackbox.
2) slightly redundant in some aspects.
3) Sorry, but I am the crusher of dreams.
I think most of my apprehensions have been addressed by other people as far as liability and illegal sharing. But really, the biggest thing is we can't keep it at the desk for a hoopla of boring reasons. Mostly, due to personal and department liability, and the show overall. It would essentially look like we're sponsoring it? If that makes sense. It's sort of up there with why we can't put up stuff for the pokemon events. Also, it's been mentioned that we have flickr and youtube accounts set up, as well as the event app that even asks us to upload photos throughout the weekend. And of course, we have mibbit and dicktochat. It's a really neat idea, but just not for keeping in the lounge.
Sidenote: People check twitter A LOT during the show. Like, a lot a lot. Make an account for that sucker and watch the stuff come in. Also, having meet-ups during the weekend would be rad too. I think if the box has a splash page with all the linked accounts (twitter,youtube,flickr,the dropbox obv,the chat,tumblr?) and a blurb about what you're doing and what is and is not kosher to upload, you'd even get stuff after the event!
So, while we can't host, I think this is a neat idea and please contact @handheldlounges on twitter if you want a meet up pimped. (we're sort of the unofficial meet up announcers) I'd love to see the finished product too, so come say hi.
Sorry it took so long to get back to you,
I appreciate the response Scoots and thanks for the offer of promoting meetups. If there's interest i could set up 2 or 3 a day in hh.
Two things that could be cool with doing that, if someone came on a Friday there would be all new files to discover if they came back Saturday. Second, since it's a wifi drop box the more shy folk could still get involved by just being in the area at the right time.
I'll be deciding on the enclosure this weekend which will most likely be something lighter and more portable. Probably just the old hacker standard, an altoids tin. I may still go with Wall-E if anyone would be down for scheduled sit-n-share meetups since I can just stash him in my car when not in use.
One thing I'd like to cover though is why I want this as opposed to other established online services. I've said above part of it is the random discovery. The other aspect is the off the grid anonymous sharing of information. I'm sure I'm not the only person who doesn't have facebook or publicly share things on picasa or flickr for personal reasons but still like the idea of sharing things. Heck my first and only tweet in the year I've had the account was to @handheldlounges about this topic. Some people don't want to just toss things on the open web where it's always tied to them, for those people something like this is just a more organic and private way to share.
Not everyone will get it, and that's cool, we're all different breeds of geek. Maybe for those who don't personally see the point my explanation may shed some light on why others do.
Now just a big ol' grasp at straws idea here... If it were to get left, no where near the desk, in a completely unofficial capacity somewhere in a back corner for a few hours... would anyone freak out?
The plan was to filter by extension since, well, im lazy but mime type would be more efficient.
The other reason I'm writing the whole back end from scratch is to give the ability for anyone to delete any other post
Hey Rev, I totally get what you're trying to do here. I like the idea.
But I do need to mention that I don't suggest you do this. For a few reasons:
1) I think I already covered the point where Bostonians kind of freak out (probably too much so) regarding electronic things being placed around in back corners.
2) MCCA (Massachusetts Convention Center Authroity) Staff and Public Safety are everywhere. There are very few "back corners" in the BCEC. If any one of the staff or public safety folks (not to mention the horde of Enforcers) finds a package that's plugged into a wall, that looks even remotely suspicious, it will be removed, and most likely thrown out. In addition, if someone on enough "heightened" alert found it, they may involve the bomb squad to actually remove it. Which might prompt an investigation into who left it, which means, because of this forum post, you'd be the first person looked for.
I like the idea of a backpack, I think that would be techie and cool. I'm not sure how power works, but maybe you can get a big enough battery that keep it running and the charge over lunch.
Anyways, if you do end up putting something together, drop by the PC room and look for me. I'd be interested in seeing how it works and what you've done.
That could actually be kind of a fun way to meet new people too.. a Hide-n-Seek game..
In the next week I hope I may be reaching out for some people to test out the server ui. Make sure its clear and there's no show stopping bugs.
Yeah. Public spaces are just like the airport or bus. See something suspicious? Report it. Also, it would probably just get taken to lost and found. Maybe not even by us.
Hide and seek via signal or tweet hints sounds neat though.
I mean anyone who isn't on the forums that realized it was there would either go to the forums and look for the password, or just start filling it with warez if it wasn't secured. (Sorry, I'm really pessimistic about the general public.)
The password wouldn't have to be as stupid as I noted, and you could still do a splash screen thing.
I'd strongly suggest filtering uploaded extensions- just flat-out dissallow anything that isn't pdf, or a common picture extension- just don't allow anything that's not .pdf, jpg, jpeg, gif, raw, or doc
It's just not worth it. I guess you could add the open-source versions of these extensions- I'm too lazy to look them up right now, but it's not that hard.
Or, just brutally restrict the extensions all the time, and let off the password.
Either way, you should require a (super annoying) "I know, piracy is bad" agreement page- it is really not hard to write.
Relevant info: #PAX East: 3 Coin Lunch organizer. 2012 Trading card available. Pokecrawl Assistant 2012. Pokecrawl attendee 2011. Cult of the Leaf attendee 2012.